Biography

Birth date: 12 July 1878
Birth place: Australia: South Australia, Prospect
Death date: 25 June 1962
Death place: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Final rank: Brigadier General
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 11 Battalion
  • 48 Battalion
  • 84th Infantry
  • 4th Australian Division
  • 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 48th Australian Infantry Battalion

Raymond Leane was a member of one of Australia's most well-known military families and served with distinction in the First World War. He was born on 12 July 1878 at Prospect, South Australia. After school, Leane's job took him to Western Australia, where he was commissioned in the 11th (Perth Rifles) Infantry Regiment in 1905. Three years previously, while employed as a commercial traveller, he had married Edith Laybourne.

In 1908 he began a successful career as a merchant in Kalgoorlie; he also returned to soldiering with the Goldfields Infantry Regiment, in which he was promoted to captain in 1910. Leane enlisted in the AIF within weeks of the First World War's beginning. He was joined by every male of enlistment age in his extended family and became known as the head of what Charles Bean described as "the most famous family of soldiers in Australian history." Leane was given command of a company in the 11th Battalion and was among the first ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. In May he distinguished himself in a raid against Turkish positions on Gaba Tepe. The raid was unsuccessful but Leane managed to withdraw and rescue the wounded under heavy fire, winning the Military Cross.

He was wounded twice, the second time on 31 July while leading an attack against a Turkish position, soon to be known as "Leane's Trench", which he held against strong counter-attacks. He was promoted to temporary major in August and to temporary lieutenant colonel in October. Leane had been given command of his battalion on 11 September and remained on the peninsula until mid-November.

Leane's rank of major was confirmed in February 1916; he was given command of the 48th Battalion and promoted to lieutenant colonel the following month. Serving under him in the battalion were his brother, three nephews, and other relatives, and the 48th became known as the "Joan of Arc Battalion (Made of all-Leanes)". By the end of 1917, Leane's unit had fought at Mouquet Farm, Guedecourt, Bullecourt, Messines, and Passchendaele, where Leane was badly wounded. Returning to duty in January 1918, he commanded the 48th throughout the rest of the war; he reached the temporary rank of brigadier in June. A well-respected commander, brave in combat and concerned for his men, Leane received the Distinguished Service Order and Bar, the French Croix de Guerre, and civilian honours.

After the war, Leane served as South Australia's police commissioner from 1920-44 and received a knighthood on retirement. At the same time he remained in the militia, serving as a lieutenant colonel from 1921-26, finally retiring in 1938 after 12 years on the unattached list. During the Second World War he served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.

Leane lived out his retirement in Adelaide, dying there on 25 June 1962.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 4th Australian Division
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Brevet Lieutenant Colonel
  • Unit: 84th Infantry
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 4th Australian Division
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mentions
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mentions
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Order of the Bath
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Order of St Michael and St George
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Order of St Michael and St George
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Bar to Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Bar to Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Bar to Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Order of St Michael and St George
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Military Cross
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: French Croix de Guerre
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Military Cross
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Order of St Michael and St George
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Bar to Distinguished Service Order
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Order of the Bath
  • Unit: 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Mention in despatches
  • Unit: 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: French Croix de Guerre
  • Unit: 12th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Timeline

Date of birth 1878-07-12 Prospect, SA.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1905 Commissioned as a lieutenant in the 11th (Perth Rifles) Infantry.
Other units 1908 Transferred to the Goldfields Infantry Regiment in Kalgoolie.
Date promoted 1910-11-21 Appointed captain.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1914-08-25 Joined the AIF.
Other 1914-08-25 Posted as a Company Commander in the 11th Infantry Battalion with the rank of captain.
Other units 1915-01-01 Officer commanding C Company.
Date promoted 1915-02-26 Promoted to substantive rank of major and appointed commander of the newly formed the 48th Infantry Battalion.
Other 1915-04-25 One of the first men ashore at Anzac Cove.
Date wounded 1915-06-28 Wounded in the attack on Bolton's Ridge.
Date wounded 1915-07-31 Wounded in the head when an enemy shell struck him following the successful attack on and enemy position that became known as Leane's Trench.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-04
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-05
Date promoted 1915-08-05 Promoted to temporary major.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1915-08-09
Other units 1915-09-11 Commanded the 11th Battaion.
Date promoted 1915-10-08 Promoted to major.
Date promoted 1915-10-08 - 1915-11-30 Promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel.
Date of honour or award 1916-01-14 Awarded the Military Cross for his leadership, courage and coolness under fire during his attempt to capture Gaba Tepe the previous year.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-01-17
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-01-28
Other units 1916-02-09 Officer commanding C Company.
Other units 1916-02-21 Temporary Commanding Officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date promoted 1916-02-26 Promoted to the substantive rank of major.
Date promoted 1916-03-12 Promoted to substantive lieutenant colonel.
Other units 1916-03-12 Appointed Commanding Officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date of honour or award 1916-06-03 Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-06-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916-10-10
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-01-20
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-06-14
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-20
Date wounded 1917-10-12 Wounded at Passchendaele and evacuated.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-10-16
Date of honour or award 1917-12-17 Bar to the Distinguished Service Order.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918
Other 1918-01 Returned to duty and his battalion.
Date of honour or award 1918-01-01 Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
Date promoted 1918-04-19 Acting Brigade Commander with the temporary rank of colonel.
Other 1918-04-19 Temporary commanding officer of the 12th Brigade.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-05
Other units 1918-05-22 Returned as commanding officer of the 48th Battalion.
Date promoted 1918-06-01 Promoted to sustantive rank of colonel and temporary brigadier general.
Other 1918-06-01 Temporary Commanding Officer of the 12th Brigade.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-21
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-27
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-10-13
Other 1918-11-24 - 1919-03-25 General Officer Commanding the 12th Brigade Headquarters.
Date of honour or award 1919-01-07 French Croix de Guerre.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1919-01-30
Other 1919-04-08 - 1919-07-16 General Officer Commanding No. 4 Group Hurdcott.
Date of honour or award 1919-06-03 Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Date returned to Australia 1919-09-06
Other 1920-01-03 AIF appointment terminated.
Other 1920-05 Became Chief Commissioner of Police in South Australia.
Other 1921 - 1926 He was placed on the unattached list and commanded the 3rd Infantry Brigade in Adelaide.
Other 1938 Moved to the retired list of officers.
Other 1944 Retired from the police force.
Date of honour or award 1945-06-14 Appointed Knight Bachelor.
Date of death 1962-01-25 Adelaide, SA.
Date of death 1962-06-25